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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  January 20, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm PST

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valid, that there are dangers associated with any deregulation of drug use, and he is displaying his classic pragmatism in making that point while he also makes the point that i think reflects where the public thinking is going on this, this, which is towards legalization support. >> we're out of time. thank you very much for coming in and getting tonight's "last word." chris hayes is up next. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. stunning accusation s against nw jersey governor chris christie, withholding relief for a sandy victim. today, the christie administration is pushing back hard in full out denial mode as the political future of the governor hangs in the balance.
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>> mayor zimmer's version of our conversation in may of 2013 is not only false, but it illogical and does not withstand scrutiny when all of the facts are examined. any suggestion, any suggestion that sandy funds were tied to the approval of any project in new jersey is completely false. >> new jersey lieutenant governor kim guadano is denying allegations made against the christie administration this weekend on msnbc. allegation of possible criminal behavior from the christie administration pertaining to the city of hoboken and the hurricane that devastated it 15 months ago. >> late tonight, streets in the southwest corner of hoboken are still under water. abandoned cars littering the streets.
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>> reporter: after the storm hit, chris christie promised the people of hoboken in person that their city would be rebuilt. >> i spoke to the mayor this morning and told her that hoboken is in front of my mind. and whenever there's any assistance that is needed here, we'll be here to help. >> reporter: the mayor don zimmer says she aplauned for over $100 million in grants but receive the just over $300,000 from the state. zimmer was frustrated. on may 8th of last year, she wrote to the governor saying, please, governor, we need your help. i have tried to assure hoboken residents that hoboken would be treated fairly, because you have always treated hoboken fairly in the past. on the same day, zimmer wrote christie that letter, hoboken's planning board voted against a multimillion dollar project being pushed by a development corporation called the rockefeller group. rockefeller wanted to develop a three-block stretch of hoboken's north end.
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the rockefeller group hired the jersey law firm wolf and sampson to represent them. sampson as in david sampson, christie's top port authority appoint appointee, close adviser and man whose name pops up numerous time in the fort lee traffic scandal e-mails. less than one week after zimmer wrote asking for more money and the city voted against the rockefeller development deal, zimmer met with lieutenant governor at a local grocery store. revealing zimmer's account of that meeting this past weekend. >> zimmer told us guadano delivered a message to her. if want that sandy money you need to get that rockefeller project meev ioving, because it very important to the governor. >> reporter: zimmer documented the incident in this journal writing that guadano said to her, i don't know all the details but with with the governor friday night. the imsuppression you are
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against this project and you have to move it forward. >> the fact is that the lieutenant governor came to hoboken, she pulled me aside in the parking lot and she said, i know it's not right. i know this thing should not be connected but they are, and if you tell anyone i'll deny. >> it and the lieutenant governor wasn't the only christie official who directly linked sandy money to approving the rockefeller development deal according to zimmer. that same week, zimmer attended a public television event on the sandy recovery where she sat onstage with this man. richard constable. christie's commissioner of department of community affairs. a member of christie the cabinet. zimmer wrote in her journal that constable said to her, i hear you are against the rockefeller project. everyone in the state house believes you are against it. the buzz is that you're against it. if you move that forward, the money would start flowing. constable called zimmer's allegations patently false and absurd on their face. even after these encounters zimmer maintained publicly that
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good relationship with the governor. that is, until earlier this month she expressed concerns about how sandy money was distributed in the state. >> there's a lot less than i was extremely disappointed in at the time my -- i was angry, because i felt like the -- the focus was on the shore. >> reporter: today the christie administration is going to the wall defending itself against what it has called patently false allegations. meanwhile, yesterday, zimmer met with u.s. attorney paul fishman for several hours. right now, this is a he said/she said story, but only one side has spoken to and turned over her journal to authorities. she now faces the threat of prosecution if she's lying. >> joining me now is steve kornacki, host of "up" on msnbc who broke the story on their show. phenomenal reporting. great work. >> thank you. >> all right. so let's subject this to the massive amount of scrutiny here. you've got the christie camp coming out saying this is
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characterizing her as a partisan mayor with an ax to grind. what's your response to the character sthaigs this is a democrat who wants to take down chris christie, waited until things, he was softened up by the scandal and now is coming in for the kill? wants to get her name in front of the camera? >> look, all the questions we had. ultimately, this is, i'm not here to say that the mayor zimmer is 100% telling the truth. i don't know. for all i know the story could collapse. what happened was she was willing to go on the record with allegations and willing to provide diaries. willing to provide documents that show an interest in this project in hoboken from one of the governor's top political allies. the chairman of the port authority, who's copied on these e-mails. setting up meetings, teleconferences with him. able to establish that through documents and diaries. it's credible. credible enough and plausible enough to let her go on the record with that allegation on the show. one of the things, though, we're subjecting is that question of,
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okay, if she tweeted positive things, said positive things, why would that be? a couple things come to mind when we think about that in terms of plausibility. one is that the long-term story of dawn zimmer's relationship with chris christie is alliance, a partnership as you said in the piece. she's a democrat but a pro christie democrat in a lot of ways. hosted him for town hall events in hoboken. even saturday talking about this on the show, talking how she felt he had done good work in a lot of ways as governor. you can understand somebody with conflicted feelings about him as a governor, about what he had done for the state. the more practical consideration, reality of being a mayor, the mayor of a city particularly dependent on the state harks to interface with all sorts of state agencies on a daily basis, and you're coming up against a governor at about 75% in the polls. coasting to re-election. you happen to be running on the same ballot for re-election. he ends up doing better in hoboken than she did. not somebody in the political climate. not saying it's courageous.
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if you want the plausibility kashgs that's in the political climate, 2013, she couldn't do it. >> again,y-of-i have no special insight into the credibility of dawn zimmer on this issue. it seems we're at a point where if you believe she has fwrab kated this, she's gone to tremendous lengths to fabricate it. we can agree if this was grab kates, a lot of work was put into fb gra kating it. >> another that occurs to me. the story in the news, she was asked several time bice reporters, she's very vocal about not having sandy aid. is that because you didn't endorse chris christie? it ow kurs to me, if want to score political points, that's an easy claim to make. the press is already on that story. she could have easiy made that claim. so that the idea she fabricated this whole -- out of thin air, you know. i believe -- i'm pretty well convinced that she believes this happened. >> whether there's gradations to the story, we don't know.
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>> that's the other thing. >> also i want to hammer this home a second. look at her interview with you on "up" this weekend. take a listen. >> we have, we're one square mile. we have, we're the fourth largest densely populated city in the country. so we have to look carefully at these things. the rockefeller group, they own four acres. there's another property owner that owns nine acres. so i cannot give a windfall to one property owner, because the governor wants me to in exchange for the sandy fund. i'll tell you, i feel like i'm literally between a rock and a hard place. >> two striking things about that. one, she seemed to be defending her position on development. even in this conversation. it was like she was sitting across from the governor's people trying to explain why she couldn't make the development go faster. >> right, and number two, i mean, i think -- i just want to, if it is true, again, conditional. if it is true.
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what is being alleged here is deeply, deeply, deeply disturbing. we are talking about federal taxpayer dollars for sandy mitigation and relief in the wake of this horrific storm that happened, the sight of a huge political battle on capitol hill. that money being held hostage, and used to make sure a private developer is given a government favor that will mean millions of dollars in private profits? i mean, this is absolute facially corrupt, probably illegal, if it turns out to be true. >> if it's true. just even beyond the legal questions, if it's true, i think there's just something in the public's mind to is sacred about sandy money. sacred about sandy funds. if you had a situation here where the allegation was general local aid, so if you had a -- the aid was being held up that would be troubling.
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but i think this cause of the pressure because of the possibility sandy funds, in terms of the prospect, something that, there is a case to be made. the add min installation not come out and made the case. maybe it will. you ask, we asked the mayor why was the administration, why the governor, so much in this development project? the connection that this, and the documents, sampson, the port authority, hillah firm represents all this. the developer. the argument of the christie administration could be, look, i'm here for new jersey, we do commercial -- >> this is a policy priority and nothing to do with sampson. nothing to do with enriching a private development. a policy ground, wanted development, need construction, need the jobs. >> right, but where it's tricky, start going down that road, all hypotheticalal. we haven't actually heard kim, basically confirm there was the conversation. >> yes. >> in hoboken. not given her version of what
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took place in that conversation. but it's possible that because of the story from the governor's side would be, well, she twlas to promote the development. one of the things on her agenda was to put up a development project, and the governor, wanting to be talking about that -- >> i want to give dawn zimmer a chance to respond. she said i am genuinely disappointed lieutenant governor lived up to her promise she would deny hoboken the application for sandy's hazard mitigation funding expediting the private development project. i met with the u.s. attorney over two hours. answered all questions and turned over my journal and described my conversations with the governor and i stand by my word and remain willing to temperature under oath and will continue to answer any questions at the district attorney's office. this is a massive escalation in terms of the legal stakes and ramifications. someone sitting down with the u.s. attorney federal prosecutors for two hours. >> absolutely. talking about the scrutiny
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subjected her to, and the plausibility test we were subjecting him to before saying, okay, come on and go on the record on our show with this and tell the story. one of the things. there was an awareness on her part, yes, by coming forward with this, law enforcement will be interested, and she said it on the air. look, i'm happy to go under oath. happy to testify. i'm happy to go before -- again, like, the fact, just the fact of a public official, a leader of a pretty major city in new jersey wants to go on record, talk to prosecutors about this, it speaks to something very comp nent her version of events. >> steve kornacki, fantastic reporting. thank you. catch his show weekends at 8:00 a.m. more on the christie story, ahead. ♪ [ laughs ] whoo! ♪ oh! nice! great! [ laughs ] a shot like that calls for a postgame celebration. [ male announcer ] share what you love
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gonchar chris christie was first asked about the traffic in fort lee, this was his now infamous response. >> i worked the cones actually, matz. unbeknownst to everything, i was actually the guy out there. i was in overalls and a hat, but i actually was the guy working the cones out there. you really are not serious with that question, a few weeks later when time for traffic problems in fort lee came out from his deputy chief of staff, christie had to eat some crow on that. >> i would never have come out here four, five weeks ago and made a joke about these lane closures, if i had ever had an inkling that anyone on my staff would have been so stupid but to
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be involved. well, let me tell you, everybody, i was blindsided yesterday morning. >> and when governor christie was asked, retribution, bullying tactics like this might come out he pointedly said this -- >> i'm smart enough now after this experience not to go out and certify that unequivocally. okay? i don't have any evidence before me as we speak that it went beyond this incident, but i -- but i can't tell you that i know that for sure as to every aspect of everything, because now i have to be much more circumvent about that. >> that approach notably absent in the christie administration's response to the latest accusation from hoboken's mayor dawn zim permerzimmer. >> mayor zimmer's version of our conversation in may of 2013 is not only false, but is illogical
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and does not withstand scrutiny when all of the facts are examined. the suggestion that anything would hold back sandy relief funds for any reason is wholly and completely false. >> okay. if you're watching all this and a major donor watching cq a ing christie and the people around him, a big republican donor wondering whether this guy is your ticket to the republican nomination possibly the white house, doesn't it haunt you christie so recently said this -- >> i worked the cones, actually, matt. unbeknownst to everybody, i was actually the guy out there. i was in overalls and a hat. >> haven't you been burned once before? in fact, according to the "new york times," governor christie has at a sunday reception of 200 top donors told them regarding
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this 2016 presidential ambitions, come see me next year. that's probably a good move, given the current new cycle. joining me now, former governor of vermont, and a consultant in democracy for america and missouri senator, investor of politics and advocacy at the new school. and ran against carnahan for the congressional seat vacated by gephardt. and i will begin with you, jeff. you wrote something. we saw a massive escalation in the scandal over the weekend. again, this does not say what dawn zimmer is saying is true. what the stakes are, what is alleged and involvement at the u.s. attorneys office at the level we know. two hours meeting with an elected official of hoboken, her turning over the journals. you wrote a piece about what this meant. yes, chris christie, feds are out to get you.
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take from me. i ended up in the clink. what does this mean as a political an lift and someone who's been on the other side of federal prosecution? >> first of all, this is a sunday on a holiday weekend that the u.s. attorney goes to meet personally with mayor zimmer. within 24 hours of her original revelation. i can only speak from experience, which is my case took five years, really, to wind through the system. >> is that right? >> and when the u.s. attorney's office first got involved it still took about seven or eight months to go through. this is on an expedited timeline, and i would be extremely concerned if i were governor christie. >> yeah, and howard, you've done the thing of running for president, and you, revolutionized a way that fund-raising worked but had to raise money from a lot of people, donors are watching. a big money game happens at the beginning that has a lot to do with momentuomentum. if you're a donor, what do you think? >> rules are different for him. we had small donors. they'll stick with you as long
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as they believe in you. big donors make a judgment about whether you are can win. this is really serious. the bridge stuff, okay, made a stupid mistake. shouldn't victimize your own voters. not only did they do that, if this is true, someone who's credible, with a contemporaneous record. the lieutenant governor better be careful. the u.s. attorney going to put her und are oath. she says that under oath and it's not true, she's going to jail. this is a big, big problem. i think chris christie's presidential bid is dead. >> as of this week. because of this. no matter how much it turns out, if you're a big donor, why would you buy this trouble? this -- the stuff you just played, that's going to be in every attack ad all fall in 2016. >> the orange cones. >> not the orange cones. the mayor -- the mayor zimmer arnold the lieutenant governor back and forth stuff. that's what the issue is going to be about. chris christie's honesty. that is a losing campaign. if the issues about your honesty, it's a losing campaign.
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>> unfavorability is doubling. >> this is really a bad thing. >> this is, i don't even think that captures what happened this weekend, but the other issue is, once you have federal law enforcement involvement, you're just operating on a totally different plain. in terms of -- just in terms of like, both in the terms of human stakes. people can go to prison and federal prosecution is no joke, also in terms of the political stakes. federal prosecution is not something want associated with anyone in your administration. >> a few things about my case, if you'll indulge me. my case started because someone who approached aids on my campaign ended up four years later car bombing his ex-wife's divorce attorney. now, that same person had put out a postcard during my campaign which my aides knew about, which she asked me for my approval on. i said don't tell me any details. that car bomb led to him being, you know, a chief suspect in that, which then he gave up one of my friends, who gave up one
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of my aides who gave me up and then, of course, they tried to get me to wear a wire on other people. so when you see the way these things spiral out of control. >> where something starts, talking about federal investigation, if-of-is not necessarily where it ends up, and the power of the law looms over all people. do want to go to jail or talk? go to jail or wear a wire? when that is brought to bear, lord knows what gets discovered. >> i don't think he's thinking about the right things right now. at some point in case like this your political interests grerg your legal interesting and you talked, governor, about him meeting with bunglers in florida. thinking about political viability in 2016, wants to be a strong a.g. chair. my concern if i were him would be, am i doing anything that might antagonize bridget anne kelly or anybody else who could talk or traipsing around buy billionaires in florida while she's feeling like hunted prey by the u.s. attorney office isn't the best message to send toe.
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>> a good point. there was talk about, can he survive this? can he not? let me play absolute devil's advocate. this all proves to be nothing. that bridgegate is, fwhoent higher than we know it went. that it was concocted as a rogue-type thing. that story from the hoboken mayor falls apart. why can't he just say -- seems to me his best political play, i am hunted by the liberal media that is why you conservative donors and republican primary voters, why i deserve your support because the enemy of, your enemy is your friend? >> here many the problem he has. first of all, the bridgegate could fall apart. i don't think it will, but it could. even if it doesn't, there probably was no crime committed. maybe, jeff's a lot smarter about this stuff than i am. >> unfortunately. >> unfortunately. this, if you hold up money, whether sandy money or anything else, saying you don't get the money unless you deliver my projectish probably that's going to get you in jail.
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if they can prove it. the problem is, not that they can prove it or not. i have no idea what the u.s. attorney -- the problem you have someone who wrote in their sdwlaurnl day, the lieutenant governor told me the govern e wanted this done and if i didn't guest it done -- that, now, whether that's proved true or not. unless it's proved to be an absolute lie. incredibly unlikely given what we've already seen, why would you, as donor bet on this guy? >> take that risk? >> you have eight other candidates that you can choose for this presumably what this stuff will not be an issue. why bet all your money -- first of all he's going have a hard time getting the nomination anyway. he positions himself as a mod flit a party that's not moderate, but secondly, why would you try to take that this risk? surely there must be other moderates that you want to bet on? >> the biggest problem, of course, these things have momentum and if more revelations come out, sort of veil of, if the vow of silence people have taken about this, other
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accusations, you're really in trouble. thank you goetboth gentlemen. coming up, exclusive reporting on the company responsible for the chemical spill poisoning residents. telling details about the man who owns freedom industries. we'll bring them to you, next. i have the flu, i took medicine but i still have symptoms. [ sneeze ] [ male announcer ] truth is not all flu products treat all your symptoms. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus severe cold and flu speeds relief to these eight symptoms. [ breath of relief ] thanks. [ male announcer ] you're welcome.
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on friday night, the first to bring you the full story of a
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chapt chapter 11 bankruptcy. leaking a toxic chemical into the water supply of 300 people in west virginia. the man identified by t"the washington post" as the owner is the same man who start add new company with the capacity to secure a big chunk of freedom industries assets while sidestepping much of its legal liability. even though the two companies are owned by someone named clifford forrest, the terms of the agreement were negotiated as arm's length. all this got us wanting to learn more about clifford for is. freedom industry's other than, first thing you know, he's a coal magnate. own's rosebud mining company, has more nan 1,200 employees and among the largest coal producers in ohio and pennsylvania, making him the apparent owner of a coal company and a company ta that deals in chemicals used by the coal industry. keep that connection in mind when you hear folks like west virginia governor earl ray
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tomlin try to put distance between big coal and the big spill. >> let me make it very clear this was not a coal company incident. this was a chemical company. >> clearly you have to [ inaudible ]. >> well, i mean, that's -- a debate. the point is, the incident happened at a chemical company. >> another fact we talk about cliff forrest, supporting president obama in 2008 became part of the group of wealthy coal country republicans who sought to take him down in 2012 handing out, stop the war on coal signs from his office. an apaint ally, john boehner, proclaims no new regulation was necessary in the wake of the spill even as water taintsed by the toxic chemical from the spill was working its way from west virginia downstream to cincinnati. a city south of boehner's only ohio congressional district prompting official there's to close drinking water intakes as a precaution. meanwhile, back in west
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virginia, people still aren't sure if they should drink the water. asked today if the tap water was safe to drink, governor tom told reporter, i'm not making this up. it's your decision. joining me, a reporter from green wire. ala alana, the context for cliff forrest and coal is this incredible kind of upsurge of political activism we saw from the coal industry and coal companies and coal owners around the 2012 election which became for them a kind of waterloo battle. right? this idea coal was going to be killed if barack obama was re-elected? >> absolutely, chris. this started, in fact, in 2010 when coal companies just packed money into john boehner's coffers when his republicans ultimately took oesh the house and got bigger in 2012 in terms of the industries involvement, on the congressional as well as presidential levels. they hate the obama's epa regulations for power plants and are determined to stop them even
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though they're already going through the process. >> i am so confounded by how we are watching this play out in west virginia right now, because it just seems to me that no one is in charge, and no one can give a straight answer on the basic questions that any citizen would want. so we have a situation here where it doesn't seem like it was anyone's job to test these chemicals? we have data from the company that produces the chemical in which everything from the repeated dose toxicity to whether it can cause kansas whether it's reproductively -- there's no data. we don't know anything about it and so we have a chemical that's mysterious, effects unknown and no one can tell us whether the water is safe to drink. is that about right? >> essentially. and that is in large part because our federal toxic chemicals laws date back to 1976. it's a name that's a mouthful. the toxic substances control act. and essentially this decades-old
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law grandfathered a lot of existing chemicals in with very few safety testing requirements. this chemical in west virginia being one of them. basically, it's big enough to drive a truck through. this chemical and many others we don't know a lot about in terms of human health risks. >> there is flou a proposal from senators rockefeller and boxer to introduce some kind of reform legislation in the wake of this spill. those are some of the main items established a state inspection programs for chemical facilities, sets minimum inspection requirements and standards for facilities. directs states to identify at-risk facilities. the question, are we seeing a gap in the law here or a gap in the enforcement of the law and would this new piece of legislation fix it? >> well, the bad news is we're seeing both. >> right. >> this legislation if it passes, would also honestly, chris, require another bill updating this bill from 1976, in order to have stronger testing standards. what we're talking a be here in west virginia from senator
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manchin, better reg lace of above ground chemical storage. right now it's only applying to underground storage. step one. step two would be updating this decades old law i mentioned earlier. as you say, it's still an enforcement problem. the government is chronically underfunded for inspectors. >> i'm struck with this. we're at a case were al qaeda decided to target a water supply in west virginia and took out six of the state's water supply through an act of con sers the determined terrorism, the amount of resources that would employee to combating that problem, the amount of political outrage, the degree of attention there would be to it would be absolutely off the charts. it it's just an accident answer a by-product in the way we take this rock out of the ground and burn it and put carbon into the atmosphere and power our home, everyone looks the other way. >> well, it's funny you mention that, honestly, chris. some lawmakers and at voe kits here in washington are talking about using the chemical security program. a totally separate way that we look at terrorist risks to
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facilities like this, to tackle west virginia, because they say they'll be more support for that for exactly the reasons you just talked about. >> everything you need to know about the state of environmental regulation in this country. short from green wire. thanks for reporting on this. >> thank you. coming up, the martin luther king jr. they won't be telling you about. ♪ stacy's mom has got it goin' on ♪ ♪ stacy's mom has got it goin' on ♪ ♪ stacy's mom has got it goin' on ♪ [ male announcer ] the beautifully practical and practically beautiful cadillac srx. lease this 2014 cadillac srx for around $319 a month with premium care maintenance included. ♪ what makes olive garden's rich, irresistible parmesan! the star of our new 2 for $25 menu. choose two melt-in-your mouth entrées topped with decadent parmesan like tender new parmesan crusted chicken
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because it offers a superior level of protection. and because usaa's commitment to serve current and former military members and their families is without equal. begin your legacy. get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve. year before he was assassinated martin luther king jr. wrote a book. "where do we go from here," probably the best vision of the world view at the time he was murdered. by that time in king's life he was focused on building a strong labor movement and poverty. calling for a guaranteed basic income and a job for every american writing we must create full employment or we must create incomes. both of those proposal was included in that recent rolling stone piece that went viral that the right freaked out about.
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>> 110 million. that's how many people died under communism last century. impressive number. in the rolling stone magazine dotcom forgot. >> didn't view the struggles for racial justice and economic equality as separate's in 1961 he said our needs are dent ticking with laber. decent wages, decent housing, old age security and health and welfare measures. it's apparent everywhere today. like the battle to expand medicaid, for one example. it may seem a simple quarrel over government spending or the size and role of government, look deeper. a profound racial subtext. medicaid is not being expanded. african-americans are disproportionately factored. particularly in the states where republican governors stand in the way. so it is fitting that moral mondays have come to king's home state of georgia, and today at ebenezer baptist church where king once preached the current
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pastor of that churn called for direction action to expand medicaid. georgia governor nath's diehl was in attendance, except apparently the governor left the service by that point. dr. king gave his life for equality. in all its glorious depth, equality remains decades after his assassination a radical, worthy and as yet unachieved goal. [ female announcer ] season after season, no matter the occasion... your home's the place everyone gathers. so be ready with a stouffer's lasagna.
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joe, thank you so much. richard, let me ask you, the final play, take me through it. >> well, i'm the best corner in the game. when you try me with a sorry receiver like crabtree, that's the event you're going to get. don't you ever talk about me. >> who was talking about you? >> crabtree. the don't you open your mouth about the best. or i'm going to shut it for you real quick. l.o.b. >> and, joe, back over to you. >> that's how i talk to other cable news hosts. seemgts seahawks cornerback richard sherman giving what is the most memorable postgame interview i've ever seen. crabtree talking about 49ers receivers michael crabtree had been talking trash the entire game. the nfc championship game, sherman pulled off the play of his life. intended for crabtree. intercepted sending his team to the super bowl. the only thing people are
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talking about today, why was this black man so angry at this white woman? only joking. the backlash after that was swift on social media with an avalanche from people calling him an ignorant ape to someone quoting someone else needs to introduce richard sherman to george zimmerman. he took the internet to write a column defending himself. that those who call me a thug or worse because i show passion on a football field, don't judge a man the character but by what he does off the field, what he does for hit community and family. you think it's strange, writing a column to defend himself. in fact, sherman's been a contributor to a web sponsored by "sports illustrated" for the past few months. bright, charismatic, a stanford graduate and one of the best in the world at what he does. an endlessly fascinating dude. seriously, compelling athletes in all of professional sports. play the intellectual, warrior
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and trickster with equal aplum and whose arrogance is commensurate to his talent, producing polarizing and amazing unscripted moments like last night's interview or this from last march. >> i'm at the top of my field. all-pro. one of the best 22 players in the nfl. you're going to brush it off, but i don't think you're the best 22 anything. in sports, in media, in my 24 hour years of life, i'm better at life than you. >> okay. all right, that's fair. >> let's get down to that let's not get personal here. i just want to know -- >> it's not personal. this is a resume. >> do you think you're better than jerel rivas is right now. >> i'm better than you. >> super bowl champion and offensive tackle now part of the new york giants broadcast team and football fan, and my
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colleague, sports editor. let's begin with the interview and the kind of, the taunting that happened afterwards. fair or foul? start with you, roman? >> i think going into this game, you knew the type of player richard sherman was, that he came from this era now that football's become like wwe. bragging and -- it's entertainment. that's his approach. right or wrong, that's his approach. >> when you saw the interview, when you saw him celebrate, making a choking sign to the sideline. that's not cool. or were you like, hey, he's jacked up, this is entertainment. >> i think as a football player, and d.b.s have a certain personality that comes with being a d.b., you have to know this is your moment in the sun you have to enjoy it and know a lot of guys paved the way before you did, and you don't have to go back to jim brown and i don't have to get into that discussion say -- i think with the better cornerbacks in the league,
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respond, deion sanders, primetime, would he respond that way? the answer would be no. >> and richard sherman apologizes in a text message to the espn reporter, i apologize for attacking any individual, i'm i thought it was an amazing moment, because -- and what's so hypocritical, so many sports writers complain about athletes that give the same canned responses all the time. say, good lord willing, we play one game at a time, good lord willing, we play one game at a time. here is richard sherman showing that passion. and he's decried, not just by sports writers, but people on the right, who you always hear complaining about we live in a pc culture that polices speech and becoming fim inin /* femenized. and here's richard sherman speaking out, and all of a sudden, that's not okay. and richard sherman should be a horacio alger story, and it's a test that want people to be passionate. >> it was fascinating how racialized it was.
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like mouthy black man, getting uppity, and i should also say, like, it's totally possible to not be into him talking trash after a game and have it not be motivated by racial animus. >> exactly. i personally thought his behavior was unsportsmanlike. i was an athlete in high school, i would not have responded that way. at least, that's what i'm saying for the record. i would not have responded that way, in all seriousness, but i will say this, though. was the response that he got, the racial response was so disturbing. and if you look at the fact, look at governor chris christie. people praised him, up until this moment, he was praised for jumping into people's faces, yelling at teachers, his wife was laughing as he was yelling in the face of a teacher near the jersey shore. when you see the contrast, and they say, finally, a hero standing up to those tough teachers, finally, a hero. and now him doing something very similar and he's lambasted.
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>> i want to talk about, by far, the most disturbing thing that happened during the broadcast that happened last night and it happened well before that interview, right when we come back. (vo) you are a business pro. seeker of the sublime. you can separate runway ridiculousness... from fashion that flies off the shelves. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. and only national is ranked highest in car rental customer satisfaction by j.d. power. (natalie) ooooh, i like your style.
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and that appears to be what hit wilson, as he leads with the left shoulder. so, looks like shoulder pad to shoulder pad. >> as one of the brutal moments in last night's nfc championship game. we're back, i'm here with roman oben. tarn and dave. there is this great tweet from a friend of the show. after the richard sherman thing, he said, why can't i watch these men con cuss one another and break each other's legs without
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my arbitrary sense of decorum. that is the thing everyone's getting upset about. like, you just watched people get concussed, there was a gruesome knee injury, and it's like, really, that's what we're upset about, while we're watching this game. >> i've broken my leg twice. hand, a lot of injuries, a lot surgeries. and it's a part of the game, but i think what happens after the game and because the super bowl is here in less than two weeks, it's about the stories. this will be the story leading up to the super bowl. going back to richard sherman's comments, if he gets torched for a touchdown or if they lose and peyton manning throws for 400 yards, he'll seem like an idiot and everyone in the world will be laughing at him. >> and that's the reason people don't tend to be as outspoken and mouthy as richard sherman. the face can turn. >> in football. >> precisely because the fates can turn. >> especially in football.
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at some point, he'll give up a touchdown, he's going to be older, there'll be a younger player that will challenge him and become the person he was when he was younger and it will come back to him. >> there's also this thing about, someone right after a play like that. i thought this is a great quote from priest holmes, who used to play football. dave, i want you to respond to this. producer todd cole dug this up. he says, it's like i have to become another person. it's like i have to become a warrior. and five minutes after the game ends, y'all are asking us questions about how we feel, what'd we think of this play, what it's like to lose, and we're supposed to talk like none of that just happened. those two things are related. the violence of what we just saw on the football field and being jacked up the way richard sherman was after that play, those aren't accidentally connected, those are intimately connected to what the sport is. right, dave? >> absolutely. that's the marketing of the nfl. they want to project their athletes as officers and gentleman. they want to be able to promote this 3 1/2 hours of highly, highly commoditized violence on sunday, and afterwards, it's when we take off our pads and go home to our families, and no mention of the cost to a lot of these families, when some of that violence spills out.
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and domestic violence is a serious issue among nfl players. not to mention the divorce rate of former nfl players. some statistics says it's 75 to 85%. and a lot of that is how you deal with your life after you live a very, very violent existence in your work life. and i don't think the nfl does nearly enough to help players deal with that once the cheering has stopped. >> you disagree? >> a lot of people come on and they blame the league. the league's -- the league is doing a lot. you can't save an entire generation, but player engagement, there's programs, players can take classes at harvard and get certifications. business entrepreneurship programs. so if you come in valuing yourself as a commodity, because you're only going to play 3 1/2 years, that's the average, you know what's going to happen at the end. so you're preparing for that. i took graduate courses during my career, so i could prepare for life after football. i'm not blaming the nfl for what happens, good or bad, after football's over. >> i have to disagree with you, because i think, and not fully,
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i do understand, people have to accept responsibility, but these are very young men. and a lot of them come from environments that are extremely disadvantaged, and they are turned into products. and they are products that are, you know, they're not being developed personally. some universities do a wonderful job of developing these young men. but some universities, people are graduating 10% at unc, graduate not being able to read above a third grade level. that's a problem and that's something that needs to be explored. >> and we should note, to bring this back around, one of the interesting wrinkles here is richard sherman did graduate from stanford, and has a whole bunch of interests beyond football. he's writing a column and he talks about, you know, he had this great quote in the "sports illustrated" profile where he said, you know, there's this stereotype of a jock that doesn't care about anything else and i want to kill that stereotype. i want to get past the nerd/jock dichotomy. this is the guy that somehow became the face of thuggery for america because of a 30-second interview. and it shows the lack of complexity we have about the human beings who are throwing
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themselves around the fields. as 47 million of us watch and watch legs get broken and get swept up in all the pageantry and theatrics of it. roman oben, tara, and dave from the nation, thank you all. that is all in for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> i have taken to watching football the same way i watch horror movies. which is like this. peering through when i feel it's safe. >> particularly the navarro play, that was really -- ugh. >> thanks, man. and thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. new jersey is the most densely populated state in the united states of america. people are more on top of each other in new jersey than in any other american state. of the top ten most densely populated cities and towns in this country, seven of the ten are in new jersey. and the combination of that population density and the very unlucky aim of a very large storm, the largest american -- excuse me, the largest atlanti

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